Island Gazette

Carolina Beach Mooring Field Wrapping Up Construction

Crews were out in the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin on Monday installing the final four of ten mooring buoys. The Town is creating a mooring field for larger vessels to anchor in the basin and come ashore. The Town hopes it will boost the economy by providing an amenity to boat owners traveling up and down the east coast.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach is inching closer to opening a new mooring field for boaters in the Town's Yacht Basin.
On Monday crews installed the remaining four of ten mooring buoys in the waterway just off Canal Drive.
The goal, so larger transient vessels visiting the area can anchor and come ashore to shop, get supplies, and visit restaurants and other businesses.
The project was made possible by a grant from the State of North Carolina. The grant is for $50,000. The state will pay $37,500 and the Town pays $12,500. The remainder of the project cost falls upon the Town. The Town awarded a $77,600  contract for the project in September 2011 to Snow Marine Construction & Dredging.
The project places ten mooring balls in the Myrtle Grove Sound from the areas of Sandpiper Lane to Salt Marsh Lane along Canal Drive.
The project hasn't gone off without a little hitch. The buoys are anchored by chains to 12,000 pound concrete blocks.
When a couple of those blocks were dropped into the water, the blocks didn't rest on the bottom, they sank as much as eight feet deep into the muddy bottom.
During high tide some of the buoys were under water.
Town Planning Director Ed Parvin said he was on a boat observing when the first moorings were installed.
He said they fell to the bottom quick with one sinking about 8 feet into the muddy bottom. Another one sank about four to six feet down.
He said it's an easy fix, just add more length to the chains. However, that will not be done until the rest of the moorings were installed on Monday. That way - if needed - they can order and install additional length to other chains all at the same time.
Parvin said some areas of the yacht basin bottom are denser while others are a soft muddy consistency.
He said when one of the concrete blocks was dropped to the bottom, the buoy marker went down and disappeared surprising everyone.
He said one thing is for sure; those moorings aren't going to shift during strong storms.
The Town Council is set to hold a public hearing at their February 14, meeting adopting a new ordinance governing the Myrtle Grove Sound and the mooring field. The Town obtained a local bill from the state legislature last year giving them authority to enforce regulations and law within the waterway.
The Town will provide docking facilities at the their public marina at Carl Winner Avenue.
Additional facilities are planned in the future closer to the mooring field for boaters to come ashore in their dinghy boats.  The Council will discuss the mooring field and new ordinance at their February 14, meeting at 6:30PM at Town Hall.



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